Unrealism of the C Above High C

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The C Above High C is an interesting mesh of scenery. We begin with Louis Armstrong in his dressing room discussing his place in life. He is a black man in a world where racism exist because of the colour of your skin, but somehow he has made it into the world despite his skin colour. Famous for his music and loved by all people of the world of all colours. Not at all unrealistic, but possible. The realism is skewed though when Louis Armstrong sits down after a performance. Who is to know he actually did these things. “He begins to slowly dab cream on his face and doesn’t stop until his face is white.” (Reed, The C Above High C, Act I, Scene I) Without this action and description, one could not imagine the rift between races. You think to yourself, why would he do that until he is white? Why not just rub it in? Or you think what kind of cream is he using? Is it a bleaching cream? I believe Reed added this to make the reader and people see that colour was a big deal. He is masking his identity with another in an effort to reflect the majority. It further emphasizes the lines, “My face doesn’t belong to me anymore.” (Reed, The C Above High C, Act I, Scene I, 1) Further in the scene he mentions that he is being called an Uncle Tom, a term coined by African Americans to describe fellow African Americans who have “sold out” or cater to the white man. He is conflicted, he plays music that is close to his heart and is “African”. But because he is praised by whites and loved by them his fellow people felt and accused him of selling out. He is also living better and has a higher status in society. However, it wasn’t that at all, he loved music and that’s all he wanted to do was play or hit that higher C. Without this inner turmoil, again an audience could not ascertain the racial division. Although he brings people of all colour together, there is still a divide even with

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